Search engine optimization is essential at every stage of a business’s growth – but it’s especially important in the beginning. Here’s why.
As an entrepreneur, you want as many people to hear about your startup as possible. You want to shout your idea from the rooftops, trumpet your brand to anyone who will listen. You want people to know your business exists. More importantly, you want the people who know about it to support it.
Assuming what I just wrote is true – if it’s not, you should probably look for a new line of work – I have one question for you: do you know what SEO is?
If you answered ‘no’ to that question, it’s high time you learn. Like it or not, SEO is essential to your startup’s success on the web. Without it, you’re just one more wave of static in a sea of noise.
“We frequently hear statements like ‘No smart engineer would ever build a search engine that requires websites to follow certain rules or principles in order to be ranked or indexed,’” reads SEO Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. “[But] imagine you posted online a picture of your family dog. The best search engine in the world would struggle to understand the photo at anywhere near that level of sophistication…SEO allows webmasters to provide clues that the engines can use to understand content.”
“Understanding both the abilities and limitations of search engines allows you to properly build, format, and annotate your web content in a way that search engines can digest,” the guide continues. “Without SEO, a website can be invisible to search engines.”
Let me explain why that’s a bad thing.
SEO Makes You Immensely More Visible
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s searching for a product online. Where are you going to look first? Google, right? While you’re on Google, are you going to bother looking past the frontpage, or are you going to simply browse the first page results until you find something that fits your needs?
You know the answer to all those questions.
By ensuring your site ranks for both local users and relevant keywords, you can also make yourself far more visible on the web. Not only will users looking to make a purchase from your store be able to find you more easily, you’ll also be more visible to people who aren’t necessarily sold on your brand. Sounds like a win/win, right?
SEO Is Cost-Effective
Here’s the thing about search engine optimization – unless you hire an SEO expert to do it for you, it costs you next to nothing. You don’t need to shell out an arm and a leg to rank on the first page of Google. You just need to have a high-quality website and an understanding of how SEO works. It is, as Forbes notes, a bedrock of your online presence, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Your Competitors Understand The Importance of SEO
The biggest disadvantage of running a startup is that you’re trying to break into a market where there are already tons of established competitors. It’s naive to think that at least a few of those competitors aren’t applying SEO to their websites. You want to seize every advantage you can – that includes ensuring your site’s better-optimized than the competition’s.
Whether you’re operating a small business or a massive enterprise, SEO is essential to your success online. Luckily, it’s not all that hard to understand or implement. Have a read-through of Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, and you’ll know everything you need to get started.